Director, Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER)

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Director, Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER)

School of Education

The School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) is searching for a successful and ambitious researcher and administrator to serve as the next Director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER or the Center). This is an exciting opportunity to lead one of the nation’s oldest and largest university-based education research centers, with approximately 500 employees and over $88 million in annual revenue.


WCER’s research and dissemination activities are international in scope, with funding from a variety of federal agencies, private foundations, and public service agencies, as well as a significant fee-for-service portfolio. WCER scholars include faculty and research scientists in education, psychology, sociology, mathematics, engineering, economics, health, the arts, and other disciplines. In this interdisciplinary context, researchers conduct a wide range of studies at all levels of education in areas including teaching and learning, assessment, school policy, finance, school reform, methodology, and learning sciences.


Reporting to the Dean of the School of Education, the next Director will be expected to provide organizational leadership, including the development and implementation of a Center-wide strategic plan that unites the various units within WCER under a cohesive mission. The Director is also expected to enhance WCER’s impressive research output and support researchers’ ability to secure external funding from existing and new sources. In addition, the Director should promote external engagement to further elevate the Center’s reputation and distinction across the UW–Madison campus, the country, and the world.


The ideal candidate will possess a doctoral degree in a field related to education; a demonstrated record of generating and managing externally-funded grants for education-related research; and familiarity and established relationships with a diverse portfolio of researchers and funders. The candidate will bring experience creating and leading teams, mentoring and developing colleagues, and working in a collaborative environment; a demonstrated ability to articulate the value of diversity with confidence and authority, with a track record of effectively supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion; strong project management and quality assurance abilities; and superb communication and interpersonal skills.


UW-Madison has retained the national search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in this important search. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications should be sent in strict confidence to:

Ericka Miller, Partner

Jeff Kessner, Managing Associate

Isaacson, Miller

1300 19th Street, NW, Suite 700

Washington, DC 20036


The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7). Candidates who are seleted as finalists will be invited for campus interviews and their names will be announced publicly.


The University of Wisconsin is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.


If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability, you can find information about how to make a request at the following website:


Employment will require a criminal background check. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.


The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinary policies, crime statistics for the previous 3 calendar years, and on-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statistics for the previous 3 calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a paper copy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department.